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students working on robotics project
Co-op & Experiential Learning

Combining rigorous academics with a variety of experiential learning opportunities

Northeastern’s approach to education combines rigorous academics with experiential learning anchored by our world-renowned cooperative education program. Experiential learning encompasses our co-op program as well as research, global experiences, service learning, and student organizations.

Cooperative Education

Co-op affords students the chance to work in engineering practice prior to graduation. Through this program, undergraduate and graduate students gain hands-on, professional experience as well as a chance to build personal connections and contacts within their field of interest. Undergraduate students typically work six months at a time doing two to three co-ops while a student. Graduate students can do an internship or a co-op. Their co-op is either 4-, 6-, or 8-months in length. Co-op opportunities are offered locally, nationally, and globally.

On co-op, students learn requisite skills that cannot be learned in a classroom. The co-op experience enables students to select a career path that is right for them, while giving them a competitive edge upon graduation and earning income. The level of responsibility a student has on co-op grows as their engineering and professional skills develop. With co-op, students may explore different types of companies and work environments, such as being employed at large or small companies, working in design, product development, test, or research.

Here is a sampling of co-op employers for electrical and computer engineering students:

Advanced Micro Devices
Amazon Robotics
Analog Devices
Boston Engineering
Boston Red Sox
Jacobs Engineering Group
Lockheed Martin
MIT Lincoln Lab

Student Areas of Expertise

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering spans all sub-disciplines of electrical and computer engineering. We encompass robotics (from control systems to embedded systems), the IoT (from networking and communications to computer systems and architectures to security) and Big Data (from machine learning to signal processing to enabling technologies for data centers). We have strength in devices and microelectronics, RF/microwave materials, and power electronics and systems.

Employer Benefits

  • A simple, cost-effective way to meet hiring needs: no fringe benefits, no recruitment costs. Co-op students are paid as temporary hourly employees.
  • Support your engineering team with capable engineering students.
    Six-month co-op periods allow students to work on long term projects and make significant contributions to the workplace.
  • The ability to schedule back-to-back co-op periods for full-time coverage or select six-month periods for busy times.
  • Potential pipeline for future full-time hires and industry leaders.
    Students offer an enthusiastic, fresh perspective and up-to-date technical knowledge and skills.

Learn More and Post a Job

“The student is a very intelligent and highly driven individual who took full advantage of the learning opportunities during his time with us. We were very impressed with the results he produced.”

—Dell EMC Corporation


“My co-op student is a very bright young engineer with a great attitude. She was a great asset to my team here at Raytheon in the MET department. She is very mature, can work independently, and is a great team player. I look forward having her work here again as a co-op or possible new hire.”

—Raytheon Integrated Defense System


“Student demonstrated exceptional curiosity and passion for robotics. He resurrected some robots that were just gathering dust and was able to get them fully functional and performed some experiments with them. He was outstanding! He worked on many projects and his contributions will benefit the department after he’s gone.”



“Co-op student is a very fast learner who efficiently carries out her job functions. She had the desire to learn the other aspects to the Safety Groups functions and was able to assist the engineers and technicians with general safety testing.”

—Bose Corporation

Getting a Competitive Edge on Co-op

Noah Lichtenstein, BS, computer engineering and computer science, says the integrated way of learning and experience with co-op will allow him to jump in to a job when he graduates. So far he’s had a co-op at Starry, an internet startup, and Amazon Robotics as a firmware engineer, and feels this experience will give him a decent leg up.

Three Co-ops, Three Different Experiences

Sofia Vanessa Benitez Quevedo, BS, electrical engineering, completed three co-ops near and far including iRobot as a systems engineer, Flex in California working on emerging tech on the internet of things, and Starry, a start up in Boston using cutting-edge technology for the next generation.

Student Research

As an R1 research university, Northeastern offers all students—undergraduate, masters, and PhD—opportunities to participate in a wide range of interdisciplinary research projects, and offers resources and support to encourage innovation. Students can work with faculty in their labs, as part of research centers, on co-op, or conduct individual research. Students can also present their research at university events, professional society and association conferences, and participate in regional, national and global competitions.

View engineering faculty profiles for research focus areas and lab information.

Featured Experiences

students sitting on table in a row each folding parts of wireless devices such as a roll of wire

Student Organizations

The Northeastern University Wireless Club is an electronics experimentation club, where students from all disciplines can meet to work on projects and learn electronics through hands-on application. Students can also participate in service learning such as teaching robotics to middle school children in the Boston community.

group photo of students in Chili with background of the country

Global Experiences

Students traveled to Chile for a Dialogue of Civilizations course over the summer led by ECE Professor Chuck DiMarzio where they learned about biomedical imaging as well as financial, political, cultural, and social issues in another country.

Student Experiences

Defining Experiences on Co-op at Philips

Picture caption: Left to right: Jie Dai, ME’19, electrical and computer engineering, and Wangbo Jia, ME’19, electrical and computer engineering. Co-op can be a defining experience for students, and for two recent alumni, their time working at Philips Research Americas’ Cambridge Innovation Labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was no exception. Wangbo Jia, ME’19, originally from Beijing, […]

Thinking Out of the Box at Toyota Research Institute

When Amanda Zhu graduated from Northeastern University in May of 2018 with a Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering, she only had to wait a month before she started working at the Toyota Research Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Originating from China, Zhu graduated from the University of New Haven with a bachelor’s degree in […]

on top of kilimanjaro

Out of My Comfort Zone in Tanzania

Jacob Kaplan is a fourth-year computer engineering/computer science major on co-op at Sikubora in Arusha, Tanzania. He is originally from Amherst in western Massachusetts. He is interested in sustainable energy and is exploring and considering career paths. Written by Jacob Kaplan. I am working at a company called Sikubora in Arusha, Tanzania. Arusha is a […]

Creating an App to Help Those Pray

He created an app to help Muslims with their daily prayers Main photo: “Our primary purpose is allowing Muslims to read and recite the Quran correctly without the need of reaching out to an instructor, so we’re automating that process,” says Anas Abou Allaban, who graduated from Northeastern in May. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University […]